2. December 2009 16:55
A Bill proposing measures to help people with high care needs remain independent for longer has been introduced to Parliament by Health Secretary Andy Burnham.
Provision of assistive technologies in the home is part of the strategy proposed by the new Personal Care at Home Bill.
The Bill guarantees free personal care for 280,000 people, including those with serious dementia or Parkinson's disease. It also aims to help around 130,000 people who need home care for the first time.
The planned intensive assistance or 're-ablement' is intended to help people with high care needs regain their independence, and to prevent ill-health where possible. New equipment is part of the assistance to be provided.
The new proposals, which will cost £670 million, are described by the Government as a first step towards setting up a new National Care Service.
"People want to stay independent by living in their own homes for as long as possible," said Andy Burnham. "But we all face the prospect that one day we may need help with everyday tasks like washing and dressing. Offering free personal care at home for those with the highest needs regardless of their means will help achieve this."